By Avenell Dave
I didn’t expect us to win against Villa yesterday.
Martin O’Neill’s side have been one of the most consistent in the top flight this season and after what they did to us last season, I wondered how we would cope. I'd have taken a draw before the game. More fool me.
As Le Boss said, this was a massive result. It shows everyone we can win big games through quality, not just a rare moment of magic.
Apart from a brief spell in the first half, we totally dominated and anything other than a victory would have been points dropped on the balance of play.
Much has been said about an Arsenal midfield of Alex Song, Denilson and Abou Diaby but credit to them, they’re all developing and played their opponents off the park.
Song is a revelation this season, rarely losing the ball and economic with his passing – having grown the confidence not just to play the ball sideways.
If he could just have the confidence to have a shot when the ground opens up ahead of him, we’d have a 'super' class player on our hands.
The fact that Denilson took another free kick on the edge of the area shows how his confidence has grown too and how he is developing, even if he still has a way to go.
And as for Diaby, well, he flitted in and out of the game again, but the ‘out’ moments are getting smaller and that can only be a good thing.
He deserved his goal and the fact that he ran back and put in tackles when the team was stretched says much for how he is now understanding the commitment and effort he has to put in every week to maintain his performance level.
Not every team will be as organised as Villa, and had Andrey Arshavin and Eduardo put a bit more power behind early shots, we could have gone in ahead at half time.
It was all set up for Cesc Fabregas when he came on and there are few superlatives to justify his contribution. It was simply immense.
There’s always chatter around the Emirates that we’re not a one man team and that we can cope without Cesc if he does indeed return to Spain in the foreseeable.
If anything confirmed what rubbish that is, it was today’s performance. Less than half a game and he still won it for us.
The fact that he and Denilson are injured now and Song is off to the ACN provides no end of problems for us in midfield and I have a feeling Arséne Wenger will sign a couple of new players this window.
Simple games coming up? Don’t you believe it! Teams are fighting for their lives and we’re going to struggle.
Arshavin is being run into the ground at present and if we lose him, we’re really in trouble.
A few words also for Armand Traore. I have long believed he is the future of Arsenal left backs.
He’s fast, diligent, knows how to defend and has tricks as well – he doesn’t leave spaces like Gael Clichy and he gets the balance of attacking and defending better than Kieran Gibbs (at present).
I’d be quite happy to sell Clichy for mega money and let the two kids fight it out.